Organised by the Vilafranca city council and the Penedès Running Team (Fondistes Penedès), the fifth edition of the 10k race of Vilafranca started at 11:00 AM under good weather conditions; all be it a bit windy, the temperature of 11ºC was good for running.
No less than 1.650 athletes took the town streets to complete the track that consisted of two rounds of 5km. After the first kilometre Roger Roca, the favourite runner in the race, had already taken the lead,together with local athlete Abderrazak Samaoui, followed by a group of six. In the following kilometres, Roger got ahead of his pursuers and reached the 5k point in a record time of 15’22. Abde followed a few seconds later, but had to abandon the race at km6.
The other pursuers fell back so Roger was left without direct rivals and his race became a solitary battle against the elements. Time passed and at the finish his arrival was awaited impatiently. In the final stretch Roger gave it all to beat the track record of 2013 but, unfortunately, he missed it by only 4 seconds.
“It was not to be, I did my utmost, but the wind made it hard to keep the pace. I am sad I couldn’t beat the record, but I’m happy to win the race again. It’s a fantastic event with great atmosphere, and a great track.”
Sergi Rodríguez came in second (32’30) and the third position was for Dani Serra (32’31).
In the women’s race, Hasna Bahom took the lead from the start and held it through to the finish. With a tremendous effort she finished in 35’48, beating the track record by 1 minute and 19 seconds, no less (17’54 at the 5k point). It was Hasna’s first participation in Vilafranca’s 10k.
“I did not expect such an impressive race! Many people cheering me on, calling out my name. The organisation was perfect and it’s a great track. Terrific!“
Second came Sara Loher (36’53) after a great race as best local athlete, with a personal record. Eva Ribalte finished third (37’58).
In the ranking of local male runners, first place was for Mohamed El Ouakassi (33’58), second Nil Sola (35’08) and third Angel Burguete (35’46). The winner of the local female category was Sara Loher (36’53), followed by Sabrin Rhzili (42’19) and third place for Eva Inglada (43’28).
The mayor of Vilafranca also participated, and declared after finishing his race:
“It was a great running course and an incredible party! We can be proud of this achievement; it’s definitely one of the best 10k races in Catalonia.”
1.620 runners registered for the race, including 385 women (23%). 810 runners came from the greater Penedès area (50%) and 596 from the Alt Penedès (36%). The towns with highest participation were Vilafranca (383 runners, 23%) and Barcelona (200 participants, 12%).
More than 80 volunteers made it all possible. Thanks to them the race was a success, leaving a great impression of both the event and the town of Vilafranca.
See you next year!